This is a magical time leading up to the holidays. In the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, many of the historic downtown districts decorate for the season and celebrate with events, parades, shopping, fireworks, living windows, and Christmas walks. Thousands of people come to ring in the holiday season at these events.
Get Jazzed for the Holidays – Friday, Nov. 11-Saturday, Nov. 12
Head down to the Moline Centre and join in the festivities! Local retailers showcase their businesses and offer great specials, door prizes, music, food and beverages from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Stick around and enjoy the beautiful lights along 5th Avenue, the creative Christmas trees and other seasonal decorations. Santa is certain to make an appearance! Get Jazzed will continue the fun with Lighting on the Commons at the John Deere Pavilion on Saturday, November 19 and Small Business Saturday on November 26. For more information, visit www.molinecentre.org
Julmarknad – Nov. 25-27 & Dec. 3-4
This annual Swedish Christmas Market takes place in the historic village of Bishop Hill and is reminiscent of medieval Scandinavian markets. Seasonal Swedish folk characters roam the village and there is music and Swedish food specialties. Enjoy the Chocolate Walk at the Dairy Building. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day. Bishop Hill is located 60 minutes south of the Quad Cities in between Cambridge and Kewanee, Illinois. For more information, visit www.bishophill.com.
Walnut Grove Christmas Walk – Sunday, Nov. 27
Enjoy the historic buildings beautifully decorated at the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village from 12-4 p.m. Visit with Santa Claus and enjoy make & take crafts, refreshments, and much more. Admission is free with a North Scott Food Pantry Donation! Walnut Grove in the Scott County Park in Long Grove, Iowa, was a Scott County crossroads settlement and stagecoach stop in the 1860s. For more information, www.scottcountyiowa.com
Christmas in the Village – Friday, Dec. 2-Saturday, Dec. 3
It’s a family tradition for over 30 years in the Village of East Davenport. Come and enjoy carolers, children’s activities, Nativity scene and petting zoo with animals, and, of course, Santa will be there along with other holiday characters. 6-9 p.m. each night. There will be Winter Sparkle fireworks on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 9 p.m. The Village is located at Mound & 11th Street, Davenport, Iowa. For more information, visit www.villageofeastdavenport.com.
Holly Days – Friday, Dec. 2
Get into the holiday spirit during the Christmas Walk in Aledo, Ill., and enjoy food, drinks and holiday cheer. The warming station includes hot cocoa, hot cider and coffee, and free popcorn. Buy a $5.00 raffle ticket to win gift baskets. Holly Days begins on Friday night with an Aledo Main Street Electric Parade at 5:30 p.m. Aledo, Ill., is located about 25 minutes south of the metro Quad Cities. For more information, visit www.aledomainstreet.com.
Christmas in LeClaire – Friday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 3
The charming village of LeClaire, Iowa, is transformed into a scene from a Norman Rockwell painting with its delightful shopping, trolley rides, activities, bazaar, Santas from around the world, craft demonstrations with a wooden shoe maker and chainsaw carver, and breakfast with Santa. On Saturday there is an Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K at 10 a.m. Christmas in LeClaire is where Santa comes to shop. LeClaire is located 20 minutes outside of the metro Quad Cities (just off I-80 on Hwy 67). For more information, visit www.visitleclaire.com.
Gallery Hop! – Friday, Dec. 9
Gallery Hop! showcases hundreds of local and regional artists in many locations including galleries, restaurants, retail shops, and entertainment venues all in The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District. Find unique gifts to give to your loved ones! For more information, call The District at 309-788-6311 or visit their website at www.ridistrict.com.
Lucia Nights Festival of Lights – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10
Historic Bishop Hill, Ill., holds its Lucia Nights celebration from 6-9 p.m. both evenings. Around the village, each building will have a single candle in each window and sidewalks will be illuminated by luminaries. Each business and museum will be open until 9:00 p.m. and will have a Lucia girl serving cookies. Activities begin on Friday with the lighting of the park Christmas tree with poetry and holiday singing. www.bishophill.com